A coat of arms is a symbol usually represented on a shield that indicates the traits of a particular family. Contrary to popular belief, a coat of arms is not awarded to an entire family, but rather to a particular individual within the family who has been deemed worthy of the honour of displaying the coat of arms. Traditionally, it has been awarded to royalty, but not exclusively. While the origins of the coat of arms are unknown, it started to be used by the military through the years and is still used in certain situations today. A coat of arms can be passed from father to son with subtle changes made to make note of the passage of the arms. This might include a change in colour or charge, which is the image in the centre of the shield on a coat of arms.
COATS OF ARMS IN INDIA
There were as many as 568 Indian princely states in India before the Partition of British India in 1947 into India and Pakistan. Some sources believe this figure to be 572. All these princely states were ruled by
kings who had their own coats of arms as their royal symbols.
COLOURS AND THEIR MEANING
Each colour used in a coat of arms has a specific meaning
Gold: Generosity and elevation of the mind
Silver or White: Peace and sincerity
Red: Warrior or martyr; military strength and magnanimity
Blue: Truth and loyalty
Green: Hope, joy and loyalty in love
Purple: Royal majesty, sovereignty and justice
Orange: Worthy ambition
Maroon: Patient in battle and yet victorious
SYMBOLS AND THEIR MEANINGS
Arm (or Hand): A person with qualities of leadership
Aspen Leaves: Determination, overcoming fears and doubts
Bird of Paradise: Freedom
Buck: One who will not fight unless provoked; peace and harmony
Bull or Buffalo: Valour, bravery and generosity
Candle or Lamp: Light, life and spirituality
Chess Rook: Strategic thinking
Dove: Love and peace; the Holy Spirit; with an olive branch in its bill, it signifies a bringer of good tidings
Dog: Courage, vigilance and loyalty
Lion: Bravery, strength, ferocity and valour
Lotus: Mystery and truth; perfection and purity
Lozenge: Honesty and constancy
Palm Tree: Righteousness and resurrection, victory, creative power and peace
Serpent, Snake or Lizard: Wisdom
Sun: Glory and splendour; fountain of life
To learn more about the meanings of various symbols, log on to www.fleurdelis.com/meanings.htm
MAKE YOUR OWN COAT OF ARMS
To make a coat of arms for your family follow these guidelines. Base the coat of arms on the values and principles that are important to you now and for years to come.
Step 1: Select the shape for your family shield.
Step 2: Add the family name.
Step 3: Decide on a family motto.
Step 4: Select four values you would attribute to your family.
Step 5: Select four animals, based on their qualities, that match with your family ideals.